There are many ways to reduce the unit cost of parts employed in the Product Support Enterprise (PSE). Each industry sector end-users take a different approach at parts cost control, based upon the materiality of parts relative to overall costs. The airline industry is one sector that has identified parts as a major cost, specifically for jet engine Product Support; from parts employed in the organizational/line maintenance level process, to the overhaul process to the modification process.
An airline’s jet engine PSE can take the following steps at controlling the cost of parts:
- Acquire surplus new-condition parts directly from other airlines; bundled package of parts at large discount from list price
- Acquire not-new-condition parts from distributors: overhauled/ remanufactured, repaired and certified/as-is
- Acquire reversed engineered manufactured parts that are like-kind to that of original manufacturers; the FAA provides the manufacturers of these parts a Parts Manufacturer Authorization (PMA) in order to sell these parts
- Acquire and disassemble not-new-condition products for parts, also known as cannibalization
- Acquire new and not-new condition piece parts that are employed in a LRU and assemble LRU
- Develop multi-user LRU exchange pool with several user of same product; decrease depreciation of reparable LRUs
Aggressively finding ways to reduce parts cost can pay large dividends in reducing the Total Ownership Cost (TOC) of a product. Check out this Aviation Week story that touches on many of the points above.